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Politics & Policy

Confidence in City Hall is Low, SF Standard Poll Finds

Written by Sarah WrightPublished May 11, 2022 • 6:30am
London Breed during a news conference outside San Francisco City Hall on Jan. 20, 2022. | Getty Images

San Franciscans’ approval ratings for their city government are low, according to a new San Francisco Standard poll.

Forty-nine percent of poll respondents either strongly or somewhat approve of the job Mayor London Breed is doing, while just 34% strongly or somewhat approve of the job the Board of Supervisors is doing. The only city institution that got a positive rating was the San Francisco Police Department, at 52% approval. 

Fielded by Embold Research in May 2022, the San Francisco Standard Voter Poll surveyed 1,048 registered voters about their opinions on the city, its government and its challenges. The findings to follow are representative of San Francisco’s registered voter population within an error range of +/- 3.8%. Read more about the methodological details here.

The results appear to reflect local concerns around public safety and the city’s perceived inability to address the homelessness crisis. 

“[Breed is] doing her best but is hamstrung by corruption and the inane policies of the Board of Supervisors,” said Felix Sargent, a survey respondent who lives in the Mission District. 

Source: San Francisco Standard Voter Poll

More than half of respondents said they see San Francisco’s city government as more corrupt than other cities’, while around 30% said it’s just as corrupt as others.

Around two-thirds disapprove of the job District Attorney Chesa Boudin is doing, and most plan to vote in favor of his recall in June. They cited policing as the top issue in need of more funding from the city. 

Respondents to the poll identified as very engaged with local issues, with 70% saying they understand city government and a similar number saying they follow city politics. 

Concerns about the job performance of city leadership seem not to be driving San Franciscans out en masse, however. Asked how long they plan to stay in the city, the largest chunk of respondents, at 41%, said they are likely to stay in the city in the long-term, while 28% said they’re likely to stay only for the next few years. 

Source: San Francisco Standard Voter Poll

But 57% of those who said they are likely to leave cited inadequacy of local government in addressing city problems as their driving reason. Meanwhile, just 27% of those surveyed cited city government as a reason to be hopeful about the city’s future. 

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